Residents Get Tower “Disfavored”

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Arizona

Pinnacle Consulting Inc. recently appealed a previously denied conditional use permit for construction of a new, 60-foot Verizon Wireless tower with the capacity to hold six carriers, reported The Lumberjack.

The tower’s proposed location was on the edge of Trinity Heights United Methodist’s property, zoned R1. “It would be located at the rear of the nine-plus acre site adjacent to an existing parking area located near the Trinity Heights Methodist Church,” said Planning Manager Tiffany Antol.

“This project was reviewed in regards to the telecommunications facilities portion of the zoning code,” Antol added. “In relation to that portion of the zoning code, it was considered a disfavored site, and that is because it’s located in a residential area.”

Input from residents opposed to the project was also taken into consideration, as the Planning and Zoning Commission held several public forums, reported the Lumberjack. This input included concerns over health risks and lowering property values. One resident cited fears to the proximity of a gas line, referencing the recent explosion that occurred when workers installing a fiber optics cable for Verizon struck a gas line in Northern California, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Per Steve Kennedy, an RF engineering consultant for Pinnacle and Verizon, a tower is overdue in the area, especially regarding capacity.

“It was December of 2013 when this site was originally requested,” Kennedy said. “It’s now 2019, and they’re about three years behind on the need for this site.”

According to Kennedy, the other cell tower sites in the area are currently running at 93 percent to 95 percent capacity, anywhere from 10 to 22 hours per day. At about 60 percent, a Verizon engineer will say “it’s time to do something else,” added Kennedy.

Ultimately, the council unanimously opposed the permit, requiring Verizon to seek a new location to build the tower, reported The Lumberjack.

April 23, 2019

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